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cats and acid reflux?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I took my boy kitty Toby to the vet last week. He seems always hungry and I have seen him burping and heard his stomach gurgling. He was actually fine until about a year or so ago- I took him to the vet and wanted to schedule a dental. They told me to take some weight off him first, and to feed him more wet food. I feed my kitties Natural Balance wet and so I gave them more of that and did not leave his dry food out as I did in the past- just gave everyone less overall. 


Anyhow the vet gave him an antibiotic shot (since he had lost his voice, maybe this was something separate, not sure). Then she did an exam, and told me he felt all ok, not blocked or anything, and then she did bloodwork. After the results came in, she left me a message that his results are all fine. She told me to give him half a pepsid daily for acid reflux.


Does anyone have a cat who has this? My sweet boy is about 11 years old, healthy as can be, has never had any problems at all. He is back to eating normally but he does always want food. I think it is because of stomach acid, that it makes him feel like he is hungry. I had told the vet it seemed to me he had reflux or something. 


Anyhow let me know if your kitties have this. Toby is such a sweetie pie. 



tobyeyes.jpg 47k .jpg file



post #2 of 4

Well I would want to know what's causing the indigestion.  It could be something in the food or it could be something medical.  I would talk to your vet about it.  If you don't get a good enough answer to solve your curiosity, I'd go for a second opinion from another vet.  I had a cat with chronic renal failure and she would frequently have gas on her stomach.  We gave her pepcid for it, but we knew what was causing the problem. 

post #3 of 4

Rather than treat a symptom caused by diet, I would most definitely change the diet.


Dr. Pierson's site,, goes into some detail about the affects kibble has on a cat's body. discusses diet and what to avoid on their Recommended Food page. is also a good site for diet-related information.


Basically, you want to feed a diet as close to the cat's natural menu as possible. Raw if you can, low-carb canned if you can't, and no kibble at all. Looking for canned products that are grain-, fruit- and vegetable-free and have a high percentage of a named meat (i.e. "turkey" instead of "poultry") is a good place to start. Wellness, Natural Balance (which you're currently feeding) and Felidae all have grain-free varieties, and Nature's Variety Instincts and Evo 95% meat products are all grain-free. A "grain-free canned cat" search on will yield a veritable cornucopia of options, and you can conduct a side-by-side analysis of the ingredients and nutritional profiles. has a nice article on deciphering pet food labels under their Nutrition section that offers additional insight into choosing different products.


I'd also recommend feeding your kitties a rotation of foods; this will keep them from becoming fixated on any one product (a problem if they change or stop producing it) and protect them from potential quality control issues by diluting their impact. Since cats can develop hypersensitivity when continually exposed to the same proteins or ingredients for extended periods, it will also help prevent food intolerance issues (and the associated diarrhea and vomiting).


Dr. Hofve has a great article with even more reasons for rotating foods: Switching Foods.


Best regards, and good luck!



post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the feedback, I did switch Toby's diet and it seems to be working. I give all my cats (six plus the two outdoor ones) natural balance and I had also been splitting one three ounce can of fancy feast among all six of them, just to give them a bit of variety. 


My husband told me he thought Toby was a lot more food-aggressive when I put the fancy feast on there, so I switched back to just natural balance. 


I also use BG for my FIV foster, so I am occasionally giving them some of that too. 


I totally agree about switching foods; I had a kitty with irritable bowel and had stabilized her on Waltham. And then they switched out their food entirely, and she deteriorated rapidly. Ever since then I have sworn never to find myself in that situation!

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